Preventing Opioid Abuse At Home
Here are some measures to help prevent opioid misuse and abuse in the home, according to the CDC:
Communicating with the doctor. Anyone requiring opioids should work with his physician to create a plan for managing pain. Options should be considered that do not involve opioids. Side effects or concerns should be discussed, with regular follow-up as directed.
Taking and storing opioids correctly. Directions should be followed; medication shouldn’t be taken in greater amounts or more frequently than directed. Opioids should not be mixed with alcohol, with other opioids, or with other medications including benzodiazepines (such as Xanax or Valium), muscle relaxants (such as Soma or Flexeril), or hypnotics (such as Ambien or Lunesta). Opioids should not be shared or sold. They should be stored in a secure place, out of reach of others – children, family, friends, and visitors included.
Disposing of unused opioids properly. At the end of treatment, unused opioids should be returned to a community drug take-back program or flushed down a toilet.
Signaling help. If you know someone who needs help for a substance-use disorder, talk to a doctor or call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
Be informed. “Know healthy choices for what is put in your body. Ask questions.”
Be vigilant. “Don’t think it cannot happen to your family or your loved ones. It can happen to anyone at any point in their lives.”
Be hopeful. “Despite our story, we truly believe that there is hope, and that recovery is possible. There are people who want to help families who need it.”